Jonathan Fields is on a roll with useful info for writers. Today he’s talking to both book publishers and those of us who write books.
The title of the long and valuable post is A Modest Proposal For Publishers and Authors.
He neatly describes what publishers used to do and what’s happened as we’ve moved into the digital age. He does’t pull punches, and if you’re writing books – and I felt good remembering how it was and thinking maybe they are really behind.
Then he takes on authors, gently, and with truth, saying: Most authors haven’t done and don’t want to do what’s necessary to leverage this new dawn.
I hate to admit it, but he’s right. As a ghostwriter who often writes for self-publishing authors I know he’s right. When I look at the state of say my own ebook covers I shamefully have to look at my own performance. Sure, I’ve got some longtail digital things working for me, but I don’t want to do all the things necessary either. Which means you and I have some decisions to make.
Fortunately, Jonathan also spells out some steps we can take in his modest proposals. Hint: read the proposal for publishers even if you have no intention of ever becoming one… there’s gold there for all of us.
His overall proposal for authors is: If you want an enduring career as an author, you must become an enterprise. He then proceeds to outline how to do just that.
This is one of those things that I think I’ve sort of done. There’s much more I can and probably want to do. Part of my first steps are to look at what both can be done and then decide what I want and will do. I’ve started that process and I’ll tell you more about it as I go.
Part of my process is paying more attention to the concept of tribe – I’ve joined ThirdTribeMarketing; it’s working for me, although it’s not easy. Not easy because the site offers so much. I’ll keep you posted about this too.
What do you think? Does his article make sense to you? What do you think you need to do?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu